It's both rained and snowed today, pretty much par for the course in early spring in Charlottesville. I have no doubt it will probably be sunny and eighty degrees tomorrow, with snow again on Saturday. Speaking of Saturday, an early Éirinn go Brách to all y'all. We hope you're all able to enjoy a stout or two in a quiet pub somewhere. Or get beer spilled on your shoes by overenthusiastic twentysomethings, which is much more likely, if that's your thing. This week we've got some agency news, a great submission possibility if you're into arid places, some MSWL highlights, and an organizational ethnographer (that's a thing? I didn't know that was a thing) at the end.
We'd love to hear your feedback. Please let us know what you think in the comments and if there are certain types of information you would like to see in the Roundup. Also feel free to tweet at us (@freelancingrads) with any ideas or questions. Have a great writing week!
Looking for an agent who specializes in nonfiction? Here are two new hires seeking clients like you
Leslie Meredith has joined Mary Evans, Inc. as an agent.
Nonfiction: Memoir; Science; Psychology; Health; Nature/Animals; Spirituality/New Age
Allison Janice has joined Serendipity Literary Agency as an associate agent.
Fiction: Romance; Mystery; Select Women’s Fiction
Nonfiction: Cooking/Nutrition; Health and Wellness; Self-Help; Memoir; Humor; Psychology; History; Science
"In her new role as an agent at Serendipity, she aims to work with a range of nonfiction clients on the topics of cooking, nutrition, health and wellness, self-help, memoir, humor, psychology, history, and science, particularly in the areas of body-positivity, veganism, and environmentalism. She is also open to fiction in the area of romance and mystery, as well as the odd women’s fiction title. Push the boundaries of your genre and use your voice for good!"
More nonfiction and some non-nonfiction: A $$$ prize and residency for desert nonfiction, and a grant for spec. lit. writers aged 50+
Writing Ranch Waterston Desert Writing Prize—Submission window: January 1st to April 1st, 2018 (non-fiction proposal contest, $$$ prize + residency)
What: Nonfiction proposals about deserts and their importance (that's deserts, not desserts, y'all). Submission material includes a biographical statement, project proposal, and writing sample. Writers in all career stages are invited to apply. Winner receives $2000 cash, a reading and reception at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, and a four-week residency at PLAYA at Summer Lake, Oregon.
"Now starting its fourth year, the Prize annually honors literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy - with the desert as both subject and setting. Inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston's love of the high desert of Central Oregon, a region that has been her muse for more than 30 years, the Prize recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide in the ecosystem and human narrative."
Speculative Literature Foundation Older Writers Grant—Submissions due by March 31st, 2018 (grant application contest)
Who: Authors aged 50+ at the time of application who are just beginning work at a professional level in the area of speculative literature (think fantasy/sci-fi and more—a definition is provided below).
What: A short autobiographical statement, a writing sample (up to 10 pages of poetry, 10 pages of drama, or 5,000 words of fiction or creative nonfiction), and a bibliography of previously-published work by the author if available (applicants do not need to have previous publications to apply). Two winners will receive $500 grants each, to be used at their discretion.
"Speculative literature is a catch-all term meant to inclusively span the breadth of fantastic literature, encompassing literature ranging from hard science fiction to epic fantasy to ghost stories to horror to folk and fairy tales to slipstream to magical realism to modern myth-making — and more. Any piece of literature containing a fabulist or speculative element would fall under our aegis, and would potentially be work that we would be interested in supporting."
#MSWL Highlights: Mumps, black women in WWII, and Michael Bourret wants you to question EVERYTHING
Sharon Pelletier, Agent at Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret
Sharon wants to see this CNN headline in book form: "More than 25,000 people who were at a national cheerleading competition in Texas are being warned to check for symptoms of mumps." Source Tweet
Fiction: Mostly Upmarket/Bookclub
Nonfiction: Narrative Nonfiction; Society/Pop Culture; Women's Issues; Religion
"While her interests are broad, Sharon is especially seeking upmarket fiction, including unexpected suspense fiction; smart, complex women’s fiction; and hearty, unforgettable book club fiction. On the nonfiction side Sharon is eager for compelling, fierce narrative nonfiction by journalists and experts, and emerging voices with a growing platform who can speak to pop culture, feminism, sports, social justice, and/or religion."
You can follow her on Twitter @sharongracepjs.
Natascha Morris, Agent at BookEnds Literary Agency
Natascha retweets @KiraJW with #MSWL: "Dear Hollywood: If you insist on making 13 movies about World War II every year, you need to make a movie about black women's role in the war. Thanks." Source Tweet
Fiction: Picture Books (including illustrators); Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction across genres
"Stories about first generation immigrants are especially welcome, since she is a first generation . . . Natascha would love to see more fantasies (a major love), more thrillers in the vein of Mindy McGinnis’s The Female of the Species and This Darkness Mine, and more historical fiction that spotlight hidden figures and time periods. For middle grade, she is looking for historical fiction, fantasy, and quirky books (as in The Mortification of Fovea Munson). Natascha is also open to illustrators. With illustrators, she is mostly drawn to bright colors, and lush settings."
Follow Natascha on Twitter @SoCalledYALife.
Michael Bourret, Agent at Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret
Last but not least, "for the millionth time" Michael's #MSWL request is: "Smash the patriarchy, deconstruct toxic masculinity, destroy white supremacy, question capitalism/heteronormativity/EVERYTHING." Got it? Ready, go! Source Tweet
Fiction: Children's; Middle Grades; YA; Thrillers; Women’s Fiction
Nonfiction: Memoir; Science/Technology; Politics
"My tastes are quite broad . . . Really, I just want to read something that moves me, that I connect with on an intellectual, emotional or spiritual level—anything that makes me feel the way I did reading with my mom as a child."
Follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelBourret.
While self-publishing and ebooks have become incredibly important for authors as ways to both reach readers and generate income, we shouldn't forget where many of us fell in love with all things written: the independent bookstore. Over at LitHub this week you can find an interview with a Harvard organizational ethnographer who has been studying independent bookstores. His fascination with them began when he read that the membership in the American Booksellers Association actually increased beginning in 2009, in spite of all the talk about the death of print. Check it out here, especially if there is or was a special store in your life (shout-out to A Novel Idea!).